Three documentary films exploring the lives of Haitian and Haitian-descended communities in Cuba and Mexico by Haitian-Canadian director Esery Mondesir. This opening night program contains the following short films:
Paria, Mon Frère
30 mins | 2019
The holiday season is fast approaching in Tijuana, Mexico where Saul and his father-in-law, Mathieu are getting ready for a busy day at the street market selling recycled tennis shoes. In the darkness of dawn, the deserted road to the market swells up with memories of their migration journey. After a long trek from Haiti, Brazil and nine other South and Central-American countries, they have been here two years, waiting for a chance to claim asylum in the US. We too shall wait for the sunrise, haunted by the words of Davertige, he too, a passer-by on The Route to the springs hoping to quench the thirst for freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, a simple human dream the Americans call theirs. Saul and Mathieu are not waiting; they build, they love, they live.
Una Sola Sangre
40 mins | 2018
Despite not seeing their father’s homeland until their sixth decades (and after the shooting of the film), the Galde family and their social position in Cuba has long been marked by their Haitianness – an identity they and their children negotiate in various ways throughout Mondesir’s generous and intimate documentary. Through moments of work, rest, and celebration, the film produces a deceptively profound portrait of a family, a neighborhood, and a nation.
What Happens to a Dream Deferred?
25 mins | 2019
It’s New Year’s Eve in Tijuana, Mexico. Wood and Colonel are busy making Soup Joumou to celebrate Haitian Independence Day with their friends at the “Trap House.” As their cooking progresses, memories of the perilous journey that brought them to the US/Mexico border two years ago resurface. From Haiti to Brazil and through nine other South and Central-American countries, here they are, sandwiched between their dream of a musical career in the US and an American president who calls Haiti a “shithole” and believes all Haitians have AIDS.
Director Esery Mondesir will be in attendance for a Q&A.
Esery Mondesir is a Haitian-born, Toronto-based artist filmmaker. He worked as a high school teacher, a book designer, and a labour organizer before receiving an MFA in cinema production from York University (Toronto) in 2017. His work takes a critical stance on modern-day sociopolitical and cultural phenomena to suggest a reading of our society from its margins. Motivated by his own diasporic experience, Mondesir’s films draw from collective memory, official archives, vernacular records, and the Everyday to explore migration and exile as sites of identity formation as well as cultural resistance. His work has been shown in Canada and internationally. In 2016, he received the Lawrence Heisey Graduate Award in Fine Arts and, in 2017, he received the Paavo and Aino Lukkari Human Rights Award from the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University.
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